You may already know this scenario: youâ€™re running a business, either alone or with a number of staff. There are lots of jobs to do. Each one is getting done, somehow, sometimes with a struggle or even at the last minute before itâ€™s due.
The above is not just a snapshot of an entrepreneur, but also of larger businesses who may well be into their 5th or more year of business. Itâ€™s also a natural way for any business to evolve, because we perhaps havenâ€™t been given the tools to do it otherwise.
So what can help us out of this situation of feeling like weâ€™re a hamster on a wheel?
Well, apart from an extra pair of hands, the most efficient way is to create processes. Actually, believe it or not, you already have processes in place. Any repetitive action that you do each day or week is a process.
Letâ€™s take your accounts as an example. You somehow need to keep your receipts and invoices together, put them into date order, enter them in a book or on to an Excel spread sheet or better still into an accounts software programme. You then do a bank reconciliation. When youâ€™ve finished you (hopefully) file them in the correct order for reference and for your accountant. This is a process in itself.
â€śA process is a function to facilitate a resultâ€ť
But you may be asking: â€śWhy do I need processes for my business?â€ť
Well the answer is that well planned processes create a structure within your business, allowing you to do things quickly and efficiently. They also allow you to prioritise tasks. Where a number of staff and departments are concerned, processes help individuals to understand the function of another person or department. Processes also allow the individual to understand their part in the company as a whole and how it works together with other members of staff or departments â€“ a bit like cogs in a wheel.
Of course, there are times when the process we are performing might not be as efficient as it could be. Thatâ€™s why processes should always be reviewed and updated and kept up to speed with what might be going on regarding technology, etc. In other words, thereâ€™s no point in a paper reminder system when we can nowadays utilise such comprehensive software as Â©Microsoft Outlook or other efficient databases.
â€śA well planned process should create an efficient resultâ€ť
When every team member, including the owner, is aware of their role and what it entails, they are much more likely to be able to communicate well to other team members and efficiency is created naturally.
Well-orchestrated processes can lead to optimal communication internally and externally, which brings me to the ultimate goal for any business â€“ great customer service.
With all those lovely processes in place you are allowing great communication within your business and the best possible service to your customers â€“ and happy customers mean a successful business!
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